Investigators have ordered a former state senator to hand over a confidential Senate memo they believe provides smoking-gun proof that a politically connected gaming firm used inside information to win the lucrative Aqueduct slot-machine deal earlier this year, The Post has learned.
The Inspector General's Office made the demand of senator-turned-lobbyist Carl Andrews, who was working for Aqueduct Entertainment Group. The probers believe he may have secured a copy of the document -- detailing proposals by competing bidders -- before his client made key improvements to its winning bid to run the video lottery parlor, sources said.Among its changes, AEG dramatically increased the amount of money it expected to raise for taxpayers with its proposal -- jumping from last to first in that critical category.
Weeks later, Gov. Paterson picked the company, which boasted influential Queens pastor and former Congressman Floyd Flake as an investor, for the multibillion-dollar casino deal at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The Inspector General's Office subpoenaed Andrews, as well as several top state officials, as part of its wide-ranging investigation into whether inside information and influence peddling corrupted the high-stakes bid process.
Andrews, a Democrat, appeared before Justice Saliann Scarpulla in state Supreme Court in Manhattan yesterday in an effort to quash the order for documents.
During the appearance, Special Deputy Inspector General Philip Foglia revealed that Andrews recently met with investigators and indicated an interest in cooperating with the subpoena.
He abruptly cut off talks after they requested the bidder list drawn up by Senate staff.
"When we asked about that, that's when the session ended," Foglia said in court.
The memo was written by Senate gaming counsel Chris Higgins and addressed to the Senate's top two officials, Secretary Angelo Aponte and Counsel Shelley Mayer.
IG officials said the document was "not for public dissemination."
Andrews' side agreed to turn over some documents at the end of the hearing, but it wasn't clear if the memo was among them.
Andrews represented Brooklyn in the state Senate for four years before taking a string of political plums, including a stint as a top aide to Gov. Paterson.
He resigned in 2008 amid an inspector general's probe into whether he pressured a State Liquor Authority board member to change his vote on a high-profile matter.
Paterson-administration officials canceled AEG's contract in March and after the lottery officials denied the firm a gaming license.